Hemicricoidectomy as the primary diagnosis and treatment for cricoid chondrosarcomas



Objectives/Hypothesis: The objective was to present a new approach for the diagnosis and treatment of chondrosarcoma involving the cricoid cartilage. The technique involved an extramucosal resection of the ipsilateral half of the involved cricoid cartilage, providing enough tissue to be sent for pathological study, and resulted in good laryngeal function without jeopardizing patients' long-term survival. Study Design: Retrospective study. Methods: A retrospective study of eight patients who underwent hemicricoidectomy for cricoid chondrosarcoma was performed at the Center for Voice Disorders, Wake Forest University (Winston-Salem, NC). One patient was a woman and seven were men. The mean age at diagnosis was 64 years (age range, 53-72 y). Results: All patients had a low-grade tumor. Primary treatment included hemicricoidectomy in all cases. In six (75%) of the patients, tracheotomy was required at the initial surgery. The mean time for decannulation was 3.2 months (range, 5 d-1 y). In four cases a second procedure was required because of recurrence. The second procedure included two total laryngectomies and two endoscopic carbon dioxide laser excisions. The mean follow-up time was 3 years (range, 2 mo-10 y). At the time of writing, six patients were alive without recurrence, one patient was alive with disease; and one patient had died of unrelated causes. Conclusion: The authors recommended unilateral hemicricoidectomy as the diagnosis and treatment of choice. This procedure allows sufficient tissue for histological study and provides good long-term breathing and phonatory function without compromising long-term survival. This procedure is appropriate for patients with 1) mobility of one vocal fold, 2) dysphonia or aphonia, and 3) an adequate subglottic airway.